Place exerts the power of destiny in these tales: a boy makes a surprising discovery skating at night on Lake Michigan; an Irish clan in Massachusetts gather around their dying matriarch; a battered survivor of the glory days of Key West washes up o ...more
The Montana based stories in this collection are vintage McGuane. The two stories Vicious Circle and Old Friends featuring John Briggs were probably my favorite. I would have eas ...more
The story that sticks out most in my mind is the ultimate tale, "The Refugee," which is set off the Florida Keys far from McGuane's home ground in Montana and takes up more than a quarter ...more
"They both had huge cannisters of bear spray they'd bought in New Hazelton, but only Austin had ever had to use it-an experience that gave him no confidence since the bear stopped only feet away as the can emptied, and see ...more
Unless it's scary/horror stories.
These were really nice short stories.
Some were better than others, of course, that will happen.
But all in all, not a bad book.
The thing that usually irks me about short story collections is the fact that I usually find myself at a loss when I finally get to like the protagonist, and suddenly the story ends and another one begins. I suppose that is just how short stories are, a ...more
I really enjoy McGuane's manner/ style of writing. The voice has a familiarity to it, it is sensible and manly (s ...more
Took a while to finish the collection, but I guess that is the beauty of a short story collection. I would take this to a bar while traveling and read a story, or read one while the plane is taking off and I cannot turn on my Kindle.
Overall, this is a solid collection o ...more
Gallatin Canyon is like that, a collection of ten stories, one of them long enough to be a novella. Some take place in McGuane’s Montana. The aptly named ...more
Favorite: "Cowboy," in which a farmhand condenses years of life on a ranch into 12 pages. Also, "Vicious Circle," in which a first date ends with the innocent-looking Olivia swamped by her alcoholic tendencies.
People in relationships nowadays seemed to retain their secrets like bank deposits--they ...more
A ex-con ranch hand affectionately refers to his boss and father-figure as "the ol' summbitch," a heroin addict loves the man who steers her though life, a father pays a prostitute to make a man of his teenage son.
Such deconstruction of numbness to emotion brings to mind Raymond Carver.
Thomas McGuane has been praised for his remarkable writing style, emotional depth, and close observations about the American West. This collection, full of edgy wit, irony, and bleak characters, received the same acclaim as his previous works, but critics agree that some stories are better than others. "Miracle Boy" and "The Refugee" are complex and compelling, while "The Zombie" feels like filler. In fact, though reviewers agree that McGuane deserves a wider readership, this collection might no...more
The stories were readable. The stories were ok...but I was expecting a lot more than ok. For me, the real test of a short story collection is that the stories stay with you. With these, a few days after finishing, I couldn't recall the details of a single story.